How will the Twitter Buy Button affect eCommerce?

For an increasing number of businesses, Twitter is one of the most effective social media platforms used to engage with customers. With over 270 million active users, and an average of 500 million tweets being sent out per day, it is unsurprising that Twitter is the port of call for many businesses looking to reach a wide audience of customers. However, Twitter has now been taken a step further in the US, with the introduction of a ‘Buy’ button. Twitter are currently testing this new feature, which will appear inside of the tweeted message and enable users to buy directly from a tweet advertising a particular product or service.

What will this mean for the future of online shopping? As more and more people are choosing to buy online, the inclusion of a ‘Buy’ button will transform Twitter from a forum for discussion and news, to an e-commerce platform where businesses can make direct sales. This will mean a new outlet for online shopping as brands will be able to turn existing relationships with their followers into sales.

The ‘Buy’ button aims to make online shopping via social media convenient and easy, as it will reduce the number of steps required in order to make an online purchase. This is due to the fact that it will be possible for users to store payment and address details in order to reduce the time it takes to complete a transaction. With this information, Twitter will also be able to push sales with specifically tailored advertisements as it will be able to determine which users are more likely to purchase a given product or service, and therefore place these tweets onto your timeline.

The question still remains then: will the Twitter ‘Buy’ button have a significant impact on the way we engage with online shopping? Do users want a quick, easy method of purchasing directly from their Twitter timelines or will they be put off by the increased number of advertisements? Should Twitter be left as a social platform that allows customers to engage with the brands they follow, or should businesses take advantage of this new feature which will potentially boost sales? For now, these questions remain unanswered, however it can be said that Twitter is evidently eager to position itself as an e-commerce marketplace.

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